The stroke of a brush and the stroke of a pen meet at McKinney’s Heard-Craig Center for the Arts on February 4 for the 2nd Annual Art Meets Poetry event. The event is a bringing together of a multitude of mediums and organizations in creative harmony, most prominently The Art Club of McKinney and Mockingbird Poetry Society, in a collaborative experience where the art or poetry of one individual serves as the inspiration for another.
“It’s a nice, collaborative, interpretive project that allows the differing art groups, like poetry and visual arts, to get together and use each other as a muse for their own type of work,” The Art Club of McKinney President Beth Mortenson said.
Mortenson explained that the event features 34 art pieces with submissions from both The Art Club of McKinney’s artists as well as those from other local individuals and organizations like McKinney Art House.
“It’s grown quite a bit. It’s almost doubled, I believe, in the one year,” The Art Club of McKinney and Mockingbird Poetry Society member Barry Rynk said.
As a member of both organizations, Rynk developed the idea for Art Meets Poetry after reading about the Guggenheim Museum’s efforts to use art to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rynk subsequently created Art Meets Poetry, the first of which featured a pandemic theme, with the goal of helping raise money for local charities.
“The first year was all pandemic and it was a very moving, and I would say very emotional, year in terms of content” Rynk said, referencing submitted pieces based off of the loss of jobs or loved ones. He explained that this year’s Art Meets Poetry will continue with its fundraising efforts, encouraging attendees at the free event to donate to the Community Food Pantry of McKinney, McKinney Community Garden Kitchen and Community Lifeline Center.
The theme of this year’s event will differ from that first year however, as Art Meets Poetry adopted an open submission where artists and poets could create based around whatever theme inspired them.
“It is amazing the difference between every artist, every poet and the collection that we have this year,” Rynk said.
It’s that creativity, amplified by the collaborative process between the artists and poets, which Art Meets Poetry’s organizers cite as one of the most enjoyable aspects of the event.
“I love the synergy of the two (art and poetry) because I love the idea that somebody can have an inspiration, and then somebody sees that inspiration, and it gives them an opportunity to create,” Mockingbird Poetry Society President Susan Mardele said.
In a unique twist, some of the participants at the event won’t know how their work inspired another’s until February 4 either.
“There’s a great deal of anticipation in that way,” Mortenson said, explaining that Art Meets Poetry encourages the artists and poets to write down their musings about the work that inspired them to display in a book for all to view at the event.
On February 5, the participants will also then meet together for a public encore event at Filtered, a local coffee shop in McKinney, to discuss their inspirations live alongside presentations of their art and poetry.
“I love when the artists and the poets come together and meet after they’ve created art together,” Rynk said of Art Meets Poetry as a whole. “It’s just a special moment for me, and I’m just so looking forward to it this year.”
The 2nd Annual Art Meets Poetry event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 4 at the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts in McKinney. The encore presentation at Filtered on February 5 runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit https://mockingbirdpoetry.org/ and https://artclubofmckinney.org/ for more information about those participating groups.